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#1002156 - 12/10/17 04:24 AM Air compressor question  
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BeemerBerg Offline
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BeemerBerg  Offline
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Kanab, Utah
I have this little jewel of a compressor in my garage: https://m.harborfreight.com/8-gal-2-hp-125-psi-oil-lube-air-compressor-68740.html
A basic 2 HP, 110 volt, 8 gallon unit. I’ve plumbed it to an overhead retractable hose reel at the other end of the garage. It’s mostly used intermittently: to air up tires, blow dust off, air ratchet, etc., nothing heavy duty.
I’ve parked the compressor in an inconvenient location—It’s a PITA to turn the unit on/off from the ‘unloader swithch’ on the compressor. I often forget to turn the darn thing off or pull it’s plug when I’m done tinkering, resulting in wifey asking “honey, did you remember to turn off the compressor” as the little guy ‘cycles on’ in the middle of the night.

Question for electricians: would it be OK to wire a light switch to the compressors dedicated outlet to turn it off/on?


--Ken G�tzen-Berg

2005 R1200RT ("Baron") [still going strong @ 125,000 miles]
2010 R1200RT ("Zigfried")
2016 R1200RTW ("Ludwig"}
#1002163 - 12/10/17 01:41 PM Re: Air compressor question [Re: BeemerBerg]  
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Living the Dream Offline
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Living the Dream  Offline
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Walnut Cove, North Carolina
I'm not an electrician but I do most of my home wiring and I don't see why not. You could always single out that outlet and run the wiring for the switch to a more convenient location. Simple in concept but could be difficult depending on how your wiring is run.

You would have to pull that outlet to see if it's in the middle of a chain or the last in line. If the last in line easier to wire the switch, if the middle, you have to fork off the power for the follow on outlets.

Make sure your amperage on the switch matches the capability of the amperage on the compressor.

Also, I'm not a by the code type wiring guy, I'm a make-it-work guy, so my advice should be taken at your own peril, if you burn your house down, it's not my fault wink


Richard
Laborare pugnare paratus sum
2014 HP4
2010 Shadow RS
2006 R1200rt
PRC-E7
#1002169 - 12/10/17 02:57 PM Re: Air compressor question [Re: BeemerBerg]  
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Danny caddyshack Noonan Offline
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Danny caddyshack Noonan  Offline
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Near the mine, Utah
Also not an electrician, but agree with Richard. I would use a 20A rated switch minimum for CYA, they don't cost much more than lower rated. If not at the end of the chain, I would cut the jumpers on the outlet and have the switch only operate one of the sockets. That does two things for you: 1. the other socket is always hot (you always seem to need the socket that you thought you wouldn't need). 2. it removes any concern over switched chained outlet strings as they remain hot too.
Pull the wires, run the hot into the switch, extend the hot back out of the inlet into the other socket and then off to the remaining outlets, then run the switched hot to the compressor socket with nothing coming out. I'm assuming it's ok to switch hot and not neutral here! I don't know, but I've wired my basement that way. I would not use any wire smaller than 12ga since compressors tend to pull a lot of inrush current, especially when cold. I actually have an incomplete 10ga 20A wired circuit in my garage for a future dedicated compressor/car charging/gutter ice melt type things because I've had such bad luck with garage compressors blowing circuits on startup.


Peter

God bless America!
Rule of rocketry #1: Pointy end up...stupid.
Danny, be the ball.
'12 R1200RT Midnight Blue.
99 R1100RT, KLR650 sold
TR6 (sold, wife can now park in the garage)
#1002197 - 12/11/17 03:17 AM Re: Air compressor question [Re: BeemerBerg]  
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ESokoloff Offline
MR. Sweet Pea
ESokoloff  Offline
MR. Sweet Pea
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SoCal
Originally Posted by BeemerBerg
I have this little jewel of a compressor in my garage: https://m.harborfreight.com/8-gal-2-hp-125-psi-oil-lube-air-compressor-68740.html
A basic 2 HP, 110 volt, ..........

Question for electricians: would it be OK to wire a light switch to the compressors dedicated outlet to turn it off/on?



Sure as long as the switch is rated for the load (2HP motor @ 110v) & the associated wiring/installation is to code.
NOTE: I'm not an electrician so take this advise with a grain of sand.


Eric

============

GM267

PM31613
#1002204 - 12/11/17 12:38 PM Re: Air compressor question [Re: BeemerBerg]  
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OoPEZoO Offline
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OoPEZoO  Offline
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Amish Country, PA
Also, not an electrician......but I'd do it.

I always hate forgetting to turn my compressor off. I swear it never decides to cycle at 2pm, its gotta be 2am. The biggest PITA with mine is that I had my breaker panel replaced this past summer and now it trips the breaker every time it attempts to cycle on the first time. Once the piston is broken loose, it will cycle fine while I'm using it. The fun part is that it is on the same circuit as our large freezer in the garage. So if I forget, it will kick on in the middle of the night, trip the breaker, and begin to thaw out the freezer.....awesome. They really shouldn't be on the same circuit, but it was never an issue with the old panel......which is honestly part of the reason it was replaced in first place (google Federal Pacific if you are interested or have one of their panels). Anyway, my current use pattern is now, plug in the compressor, flip the switch, go reset the breaker, use the compressor, flip the switch off, and then unplug it. I'll most likely forget one of these days, lose a freezer full of food, then I'll wire in that dedicated circuit that it should have.


-Keith (Yup, thats me...and my rubber chicken)

Making the world a better place, one rubber chicken at a time!

'98 Buell S1 Lightning
'06 R1200GS
'86 Honda CB125
'00 R1100RT (parting out, PM me)
#1002212 - 12/11/17 04:11 PM Re: Air compressor question [Re: BeemerBerg]  
Joined: Jun 2010
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Living the Dream Offline
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Living the Dream  Offline
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Walnut Cove, North Carolina
Oh, you could also look for a timer on the outlet itself. Set the timer for 1, 2, 3 hours and let it do it's job.


Richard
Laborare pugnare paratus sum
2014 HP4
2010 Shadow RS
2006 R1200rt
PRC-E7
#1002215 - 12/11/17 05:23 PM Re: Air compressor question [Re: BeemerBerg]  
Joined: Aug 2016
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LittleBriar Offline
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LittleBriar  Offline
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Posts: 50
This is what I've got on my compressor. It's overkill for your load but there are many variants. Works great for me.

Intermatic Switch


'16 R1200RT
#1002752 - 12/26/17 05:32 PM Re: Air compressor question [Re: BeemerBerg]  
Joined: Jul 2000
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Jerry Johnston Offline
Beemer Afficionado
Jerry Johnston  Offline
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Posts: 5,416
Spokane, WA , USA
Why not plug a timer in and then add the compressor to the timer and set it to be on only during day time hours?

#1002769 - 12/27/17 02:48 AM Re: Air compressor question [Re: Jerry Johnston]  
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BeemerBerg Offline
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BeemerBerg  Offline
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Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 301
Kanab, Utah
Bingo! Perfect idea!! Plug the compressor into a TIMER!

But not this type:

[Linked Image]

The compressor is always "turned on" -- i.e. the unloader switch is always ON. If the air pressure in the system drops below X[PSI], the motor will cycle on. And since there are leaks in my airline, the darn compressor would automatically turn on at Y[time of day] EVERYDAY with this type of timer. Not good.

But I remembered that whenever I stay at the finer hotels [Motel 6], I always take advantage of their hot tubs to bubble my troubles away. There is a wind-up timer nearby that turns on the bubble jets for up to 30 minutes-- just choose how long you want:

[Linked Image]

The compressor is wired to its own outlet branch. So I will simply get one of these jewels that can handle a 2 HP motor, and wire it in-line.

Whenever I need air, I just wind it up, fill my tyres, and forget it. If I need more air, just drop in another nickle.

Problem solved.

Thanks all.


--Ken G�tzen-Berg

2005 R1200RT ("Baron") [still going strong @ 125,000 miles]
2010 R1200RT ("Zigfried")
2016 R1200RTW ("Ludwig"}
#1002778 - 12/27/17 01:29 PM Re: Air compressor question [Re: BeemerBerg]  
Joined: Mar 2005
Posts: 6,939
Bud Offline
95% of an RT
Bud  Offline
95% of an RT
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Southern Illinois
Easy Peasy! clap


95% of an RT.

I haven't had too many Beemers, I just don't have enough time.
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